Remembering and commemorating the dead of war
in Dying for the nation
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This chapter focuses on the ways that the dead were remembered, or not, in the immediate postwar years. Beginning with a discussion of the ways that some individuals attempted to manage and memorialise their loss, it examines letters, postwar memoirs and interviews in order to consider the ways that individuals managed loss in the postwar period. It goes on to look at communal responses to loss, examining the collective and individual meanings of In memoriam notices placed in newspapers. Finally, it looks at state level attempts to memorialise the dead through the creation of new war memorials, and public responses to these, which demonstrated a widely shared desire that the dead be commemorated through ‘living memorials’ and the fulfilment of war aims associated with the ‘people’s war’.

Dying for the nation

Death, grief and bereavement in Second World War Britain




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